The Family Court of Australia is a specialist court within the Australian federal court system that deals primarily with family law matters. Established by the Family Law Act 1975, it has jurisdiction over family disputes, including those related to divorce, property settlements following the breakdown of de facto and other intimate relationships, child custody arrangements, and other family-related issues.
The objectives of the Family Court are to:
- Determine cases with the most efficiency, fairness, and minimum emotional stress to all parties involved.
- Promote the welfare of families, particularly the best interests of children.
- Provide services to assist in resolving family disputes.
The court can make decisions on a range of issues, including:
- Parenting arrangements for children (including where they live, spend time, and communicate with both parents)
- Financial matters after the breakdown of relationships
- Property division
- Spousal maintenance
- Child support cases in specific circumstances
- Cases involving international child abduction under the Hague Convention
Over the years, there have been discussions and reforms surrounding the Family Court structure in Australia. To streamline services and processes, there have been proposals and implementations to merge it with other courts or structures.
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